By Jimmy Siyasa
This morning the world awoke to an appalling news report of 2023 Covid-19 deaths in India, in under 24 hours. On the same day, 184,372 new cases of infection have also been registered, according to timesofindia.com. Whether or not all of them will survive… Only God knows!
This piece of news smacked my face as hard as did, two months ago, the cover page of a New York Times Sunday paper that listed names of 1000 people that had died of Covid-19. That was about the time when the US death toll was a few souls away from the 100,000 mark.
Meanwhile, back home, we have so far buried 334 Ugandans-RIP. And, my dear reader, we cannot tell who is next in line, but one thing you and I certainly know is, it could potentially be YOU. Or me. God forbid. “It’s okay, I am not afraid of death. Besides, Covid-19 or not, I will somehow die,” you may argue, playing devil’s advocate. Granted.
But how about your beautiful girlfriend whom your mind just won’t allow a minute outside it? How about your father or mother? Can you stand watching them die of a preventable cause or a ventilator being stuck down your granny’s throat?
These facts and figures, dear reader, are a reminder for us that COVID-19 IS AS REAL AS THE DEATH IT BIRTHS. Do not play dice with your health. Let alone your life-ultimately. Uncomfortable as some of them may seem, the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) count. Yes, it is factual that they too may not guarantee 100% safety from a virus. However, it is equally factual that they mitigate the risk of contraction or spreading.
So, please keep intentionally washing your hands with clean water and soap after touching those balcony rails, doors, and other infected surfaces. Use hand sanitizers if you can afford them.
Most importantly, wear a mask. A CLEAN mask- disposable or not. A local comedian called Uncle Mo recently, accurately noted that some of our nose masks are too dirty- in fact, dirty enough to start another pandemic.
Before I close the door behind me, allow me to remind you: the magnitude of what happened or is happening in India can potentially happen here in our Ugandan community.